22 April 2019
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Ranjith Premasiri is busy buying politicians!

ranjith premasiriPorts, shipping and highways ministry secretary Ranjith Premasiri is nowadays involved in a special operation visiting government politicians who are likely to crossover to the opposition, reports say.

Premasiri is also an additional secretary to the president and chairman of the Road Development Authority and the National Water Supply and Drainage Board. For the past few days, together with finance ministry secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundara, he has been visiting these MPs and ministers at their homes.

He tells them, “We especially came to see you to discuss about highways in this area. We expect to renovate most highways in this electorate in the next few months. The finance ministry has approved the funding. As the highways ministry, we have decided to handover the task to you. You can get the work done through any contractor of your choice. No one will interfere in your affairs. Send us the estimates and we will pay. China has passed the money. Both of us came to assure you on that,” and encourages them to swindle public money. He has been advised to do so by the president.

A man from Beliatte, he was appointed general manager of the southern provincial road development authority, by the president who overlooked 10 officers senior to him. During his term there, he had obtained bribes, even as less as Rs. 500.

After the 2005 presidential election, Premasiri carried tales against RDA chairman M.B.N. Fernando and grabbed the position for himself. Thereafter, he has maintained close connections with the president, being from the same hometown, and was appointed secretary to the ports, shipping and highways ministry, and later as chairman of two state entities.

It is him who has the power to decide, on behalf of the government, as to who should get the tenders from among local and foreign bidders for RDA projects. It is an open secret that he also decides the amounts of bribe that should be paid by each company, and collects the money on behalf of the president. A close loyalist of the president, Premasiri is working day and night these days to safeguard the source of his wealth, the Rajapaksa regime.

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